Transport for Greater Manchester

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Transport for Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester UK locator map 2010.svg
Map showing Greater Manchester, the authority's area of responsibility
Abbreviation TfGM
Formation 1 April 2011
(1969–1974 as SELNEC PTE
1974–2011 as GMPTE)
Type Public body
Purpose Transport authority
Headquarters Transport for Greater Manchester headquarters
2 Piccadilly Place
M1 3BG
Region served
Greater Manchester and parts of Derbyshire, Cheshire and Lancashire[1]
Chief Executive
Dr Jon Lamonte
Parent organization
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the public body responsible for co-ordinating public transport services throughout Greater Manchester, in North West England. The organisation traces its origins to the Transport Act 1968, when the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive was established to co-ordinate public transport in and around Manchester. Between 1974 and 2011 this body was known as the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (abbreviated GMPTE), until a reformation of local government arrangements in Greater Manchester granted the body more powers and prompted a corporate rebranding.[2] The strategies and policies of Transport for Greater Manchester are set by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and its Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

Operating with powers comparable to Transport for London, Transport for Greater Manchester is responsible for investments in improving transport services and facilities, and supporting the largest regional economy outside London. It is the executive arm of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority between 1974 and 2011) which funds and makes policies for TfGM. The authority is made up of 33 councillors appointed from the ten Greater Manchester districts (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).


Infrastructure and services owned and/or operated by TfGM include:

  • Manchester Metrolink - tram system operational in 1992. Entirely subsidised by TfGM without a government grant and operated by RATP Group.[3] Carries over 25 million passengers a year. With 92 stations it is the largest local transport network in the United Kingdom after London Underground. Further expansion to Trafford Park and Stockport is envisaged.
    • Altrinhcam-Bury Line
    • Altrincham-Piccadilly Line
    • Bury-Ashton Line
    • Didsbury-Rochdale Line
    • Eccles-Piccadilly Line
    • Manchester Airport-Cornbrook line
    • MediaCity-Cornbrook Line
  • Metroshuttle - launched 2002, free bus service around Manchester city centre. New services were provided in Bolton, Oldham and Stockport after success of the service in Manchester.[4]
  • Rail services[5]
    • Subsidised fares on certain local services
    • Funding for station refurbishments on an ad hoc basis
  • Bus services (provided by private operators - First Greater Manchester, Stagecoach Manchester, Arriva North West, Bluebird, JPT, Maytree Travel and Rossendalebus.[6] )
  • Road
    • Greater Manchester Urban Traffic Control Unit (GMUTC) - responsibility for road management transferred to TfGM in 2009. Entails installation, maintenance and management of traffic signals, road safety, incident response and event management via a traffic control centre.
  • Website



GMPTE was originally created in 1969 as SELNEC PTE, by the Transport Act 1968.
A SELNEC-branded bus (Manchester Museum of Transport)

The organisation which later became TfGM was originally created in 1969 by the Transport Act 1968. At the time the conurbation surrounding Manchester was divided between the two administrative counties of Lancashire and Cheshire and a number of county boroughs (e.g. Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Bolton). Because of this, the executive was originally known as the SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive, SELNEC standing for 'South East Lancashire North East Cheshire', a joint authority of the various local councils.

The South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire Passenger Transport Area was defined as:

(a) the county boroughs of the Cities of Manchester and Salford, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Stockport;
(b) so much of the administrative county of the County Palatine of Chester as is comprised in the following county districts or parts of such districts, that is to say
(i) the boroughs of Altrincham, Dukinfield, Hyde, Sale and Stalybridge;
(ii) the urban districts of Alderley Edge, Bowdon, Bredbury and Romiley, Cheadle and Gatley, Hale, Hazel Grove and Bramhall, Longdendale, Marple and Wilmslow;
(iii) the rural districts of Disley and Tintwistle;
(iv) so much of the rural district of Bucklow as is comprised in the following parishes: Carrington, Partington and Ringway;
(v) so much of the rural district of Macclesfield as is comprised in the parish of Poynton-with-Worth;
(c) so much of the administrative county of Derby as is comprised in the borough of Glossop;
(d) so much of the administrative county of the County Palatine of Lancaster as is comprised in the following county districts, that is to say
(i) the boroughs of Ashton-under-Lyne, Eccles, Farnworth, Heywood, Leigh, Middleton, Mossley, Prestwich, Radcliffe, Stretford and Swinton and Pendlebury;
(ii) the urban districts of Atherton, Audenshaw, Chadderton, Crompton, Denton, Droylsden, Failsworth, Horwich, Irlam, Kearsley, Lees, Little-borough, Little Lever, Milnrow, Ramsbottom, Royton, Tottington, Turton, Tyldesley, Urmston, Wardle, Westhoughton, Whitefield, Whitworth and Worsley;
(e) so much of the administrative county of the West Riding of Yorkshire as is comprised in the urban district of Saddleworth.[7]

From 1 November 1969 the PTE took over the bus fleets of 11 municipalities, and operationally, the organisation was split into 3 divisional areas, Northern, Central, and Southern

SELNEC branded its fleet with its corporate orange and white livery and the 'S' logo. The 'S' logo was coloured differently in each division, blue for Central, magenta for Northern, and green for Southern. For corporate operations, the parcel operations (inherited from Manchester), and the coaching fleet, the 'S' logo was in orange

Selnec corp logo.gifSelnec cent logo.gifSelnec north logo.gifSelnec south logo.gifSelnec ches logo.gif

In the early 1970s, SELNEC began to promote a project to construct an underground railway beneath central Manchester, the Picc-Vic tunnel. The scheme aimed to link the two main railway stations, Piccadilly and Victoria with a tunnel.[9] The project was eventually cancelled on grounds of cost.

On 1 January 1972, SELNEC PTE acquired from the National Bus Company subsidiary North Western Road Car buses, services and depots in Altrincham, Glossop, Oldham, Stockport and Urmston.[10] The corporate orange and white livery was applied, with the 'S' logo in brown and the name "Cheshire". (Most of the NWRCC operations bought by Selnec were in the old county of Cheshire).

Greater Manchester PTE[edit]

The original Greater Manchester Transport double 'M' logo from 1974
A GMPTE bus stop in 2006 displaying the double 'M' logo.
A TfGM bus stop in 2011 following rebranding.

When the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974 the executive was renamed to GMPTE, with the county council replacing the joint transport authority. The public branding applied to buses and signage used the shorter name Greater Manchester Transport, displayed in upper and lower case helvetica letters next to a distinctive orange double 'M' logo. The logo, first seen around 1974, is still in use today on bus stops and transport information literature, but is being gradually replaced on the former across Greater Manchester by rebranded bus stop flags displaying the new TfGM logo.

The GMPTE logo in use until March 2011.

The PTE also acquired the bus operations of Wigan Corporation with 130 vehicles. Further expansion saw the acquisition of Warburton's Coaches in November 1975 and Lancashire United Transport and Godfrey Abbot in January 1976.

Following the abolition of the Greater Manchester County Council in 1986, a new Passenger Transport Authority was created to administer the GMPTE, made up of councillors from the Greater Manchester district councils. In the same year, deregulation of the bus market saw bus operations transferred to a stand-alone arms length operated company, GM Buses which was later privatised.

In February 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported that David Leather, chief executive of the Passenger Transport Executive, was being paid £45,000 a month, and Bob Morris, interim chief operating officer, was getting a six-figure salary. Because they were seconded staff, rather than being employees, they were supposedly not covered by the government demand that the pay of any public-sector employee earning more than the Prime Minister should be disclosed.[11]


To add to printed material and logos etched in glass on the side of bus shelters, GMPTE began a programme of adding their 'double M' logo to 101 railway station nameboards, train rolling stock livery, bus sides and some 'totem' pole signs outside rail stations in the area during the 1990s. This idea was later extended to a full re-design of the bus stop flag in 2000, (used first on primary bus routes, now extended to the entire GMPTE area) resulting in a unified corporate appearance containing the 'double M' logo on bus, train and tram stops.

Transport Innovation Fund[edit]

GMPTE and the GMPTA worked with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities to produce a bid for monies from the Transport Innovation Fund. Within the bid were proposals to introduce Congestion charging in Greater Manchester. They claimed the Greater Manchester Transport Innovation Fund would have significantly improve public transport in the area funded by charging motorists entering the city at peak times. A consultation document was sent out to residents during July 2008. In December 2008, a local referendum voted no to the proposals.

TfGM is developing an ITSO compliant smartcard known as Get me there.

Deregulation and privatisation of bus services[edit]

In order to prepare for bus deregulation, the PTE's bus operations passed to Greater Manchester Buses Limited (trading as GM Buses) in October 1986. The company was owned at "arm's length" by the PTE, and had to compete in the deregulated market. In preparation for privatisation, the company was split into GM Buses North and GM Buses South on 31 December 1993. Both companies were sold to their managements on 31 March 1994, and sold on to major groups in 1996: GM Buses South to Stagecoach in February, GM Buses North to First Group in March.

Transport for Greater Manchester[edit]

On 1 April 2011, the GMPTE became Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM),[12] a new regional transport body for Greater Manchester[13][14][15] that forms part of the new Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). As a result GMITA was abolished,[12] replaced by the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC) which ultimately reports to the Combined Authority. TfGMC and its subcommittees are made up of a nominated pool of 33 councillors from the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester who manage TfGM and create transport policy in Greater Manchester.

Although it differs in certain structural forms,[16] on the day of its inauguration TfGM became the second most powerful and influential transport organisation in England after Transport for London because it unites previously splintered governance over transport policy in the boroughs under one body.[17][18] It elects its own Chair and Vice-Chair and assumes the functions previously performed by GMITA as well as the newly devolved transport powers and responsibilities from Government and the 10 Metropolitan Councils which make up the area. The 33 councillors have voting rights on most transport issues despite not being members of the GMCA: major decisions still require approval by the GMCA, but the functions that are referred (but not delegated) to the TfGMC include making recommendations in relation to:

  • The budget and transport levy
  • Borrowing limit
  • Major and strategic transport policies
  • The local transport plan
  • Operation of Greater Manchester Transport Fund and approval of new schemes
  • Appointment of Director General/Chief Executive of TfGM

In addition, two functions are delegated solely to the TfGMC without requiring GMCA approval, namely road safety under Section 39, Road Traffic Act 1988 and traffic management under Sections 16-17, Traffic Management Act 2004.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Some rail stations are in the TfGM ticketing zone, but not in Greater Manchester:
  2. ^ "All change: Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive becomes Transport for Greater Manchester – with a new logo of course". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media). 1 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "RATP buys Manchester Metrolink operator". Railway Gazette International. 2 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Buses - Metroshuttle". TfGM. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Trains - Operators List". TfGM. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Buses - Operators List". TfGM. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  7. ^ The South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire Passenger Transport Area (Designation) Order 1969 (1969 No. 95)
  8. ^ Booth, Gavin; Stewart J. Brown (1984). The bus book : (everything you wanted to know about buses but were afraid to ask). London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1440-X. 
  9. ^ SELNEC PTE (October 1971). "SELNEC Picc-Vic Line". SELNEC PTE.  publicity brochure
  10. ^ Stenning, Ray (1979). A National Bus Company album. Wiveliscombe: Viewfinder. ISBN 0-906051-03-7. 
  11. ^ Watt, Holly (28 February 2011). "The city transport chief earning £540,000 a year". The Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). 
  12. ^ a b "Arrangements for Establishing the Combined Authority" (PDF). Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). p. 4. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "Draft LTP3 Consultation Proposals" (PDF). Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA). p. 9. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  14. ^ "City Region Pilot and Governance" (PDF). Manchester City Council. p. 14. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  15. ^ "Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership - A Proposal To Government" (PDF). Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). p. 18. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "City Region Pilot and Governance" (PDF). Manchester City Council. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  17. ^ "City Region Governance - Consultation on Future Arrangements for Greater Manchester" (PDF). Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  18. ^ "Review of City Region Governance in Greater Manchester" (Word). Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 

External links[edit]